The New Trailer for The Dark Knight Rises Suggests Batman Is Part of the 1 Percent

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 19 2011 3:40 PM

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer: Is Batman Part of the 1 Percent?

The Dark Knight Rises.
Christian Bale in a still from the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.

Back in October, there were rumors that Christopher Nolan was going to shoot part of The Dark Knight Rises at Zuccotti Park, with the Occupy Wall Street protesters serving as backdrop for his latest version of Gotham City. That didn't happen (though there was filming near Wall Street), and, according to Matthew Modine, who plays a bad guy named Nixon, the reason it didn't was political sensitivity (or something like it):

The wisdom of Christopher Nolan and his incredible team was that, while it seemed like a good idea to give [the protestors] an opportunity for work, to give them money, it would send a terrible message. At the end of the day, we're making a movie. What's happening down there is more important than that. To co-opt what's happening there and around the country ... we didn't want to trivialize it.
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Now the first full trailer for the movie has arrived (a bootlegged version appeared online over the weekend; the video below was uploaded to YouTube today), and it does not shy away from invoking the protests:

About 40 seconds in, we see Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) walking into a fancy party, and we hear Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) say, "You think this can last?" Cut to Kyle (who is also Catwoman, a character who, in most of her modern incarnations, has working-class roots) dancing with Wayne. "There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne," she says. "You and your friends better batten down the hatches. Because when it hits you're all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us." The trailer then cuts to a ragged group emerging from a blasted wall with guns raised, shouting.

These are probably inmates that Bane has freed from Arkham Asylum. But shown here, following Selina Kyle's speech, they take on, briefly, the look of protesters. Even if Nolan decided against filming at Zuccotti Park, it seems he may in fact depict Batman as the 1 percent.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.